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International Civil Aviation

Question:

Discuss about the International Civil Aviation.

Answer:

Introduction 

The art and the practical aspect of aeronautics is aviation. Aviation covers the development, operation, design and production and even use of aircraft or things heavier than an aircraft. Aviation is derived from the Latin word avis which translates to “bird” and is an apt word as aviation covers anything which has to be flown is covered in aviation including helicopters, airships, parachutes, or rotorcrafts.

The inspiration of flying was drawn from the nature. Balloons were the first air vehicle which used to carry people across distance. But it was a slower method and hence, led to various inventions of different methods of flying. Wright Brothers were able to successfully invent the first ever controlled, powered and sustained heavier than flight. This aircraft revolutionized the aviation industry and resulted in formulation of various conventions on an international level to regulate this industry.

In the given segments, an understanding has been drawn over the current regulations that are applicable to the international aviation industry. Emphasis has been given to the National Aviation Structure & ICAO, the Chicago Convention Annexes and the International Air Transport Association. A brief discussion on emergency situation requiring search and rescue has also been made along with the necessary steps to be taken in case of an accident or incident. Lastly, the discussion also includes the various Government Agencies in Australia in aviation industry.

National Aviation Structure & Icao

It is central to the Australian economy that Australians are connected with each other and with the rest of the world through the International and domestic aviation, respectively. The Australian Government, through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, contributes towards the growth of the economy as well as the welfare of the Australian citizens by nurturing a feasible, competitive and secure aviation industry.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development counsels the Government regarding the policies and legislative framework for airports in Australia and the aviation industry, as a whole. Further, the Department also administers the management of the interests of the Government in privatized airports as per the Airports Act 1996. Lastly, the Department also presents policy advice to the Minister regarding the resourceful administration of Australian airspace and regarding the emissions and noise on aircraft (Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, 2016).

Icao 

The United Nations has a specified agency which codifies the principles as well as procedures of international navigation. This agency is recognized as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO also cultivates the planning and development of the international air transport to ensure its safety and systematic growth (Milde, 2008).

The Article 44 of the Chicago Convention contains the objectives of ICAO (Abeyratne, 2014). This includes encouragement of aircraft design art and operating for peaceful objectives; encouragement regarding development of airports, airways as well as air navigation amenities for international civil aviation; meeting the wants of the people across the globe for safer, more regular, more competent as well as cost-effective air transport; preventing fiscal waste rooted from irrational competition; ensuring that the rights of the contracting States are completely respected and that all the contracting States have reasonable prospects of operating international airlines; avoiding any bias between contracting States; promotion of security of air travel in navigation of international air; and lastly generally promoting the growth of all parts of international civil aeronautics.

One of the technical bodies within ICAO is Air Navigation Commission (ANC). ANC comprises of 19 Commissioners who are recommended by ICAO's contracting states. They are then appointed by the Council of ICAO. Commissioners are nominated by their states but they serve as independent experts and do not serve as representatives of polity or state. The Aviation Standards and Recommended Practices are developed under the supervision of ANC through the ICAO Panels as a formal process. Once the standards permitted by the Commission, they are sent to such Council which serves as ICAO’s political body. The Council then consuls and coordinates with the Member States before the final adoption of such standards (Soekkha, 1997).

Chicago Convention Annexes 

ICAO, which is a specialized agency of UN, was formulated by the Chicago Convention (The Convention on International Civil Aviation) to coordinate and regulate the international air travel (Dempsey, 2008).  This Convention formulated the rules of aircraft, airspace registration and safety, as well as details the rights that a signatory has in the matter of air travel. Through this convention the commercial air fuels have been exempted (Article 24).

On December 7, 1944, this document was signed by 52 signatory states in Chicago. It was ratified 26 times and came into effect on April 4, 1947. This was the same day when ICAO was started. Since, then the Convention has been revised many times (ICAO, 2016).

Till 2013, the Chicago Convention had 191 state parties, and these include the members of all states of the United Nations except Tuvalu, Dominica, and Liechtenstein along with the Cook Islands. By the ratification of Switzerland, the convention has been extended to cover Liechtenstein (ICAO, 2013).

 The Chicago Convention consists of a preamble, 40 Articles and 19 Annexes. Some of the important articles of Chicago Convention include the Article 29. As per this article, before any international flight, the command of the pilot has to make certain that the aircraft is duly registered with necessary certifications and is airworthy (Nordquist, 1993). The documents required under this article contain crew licenses, radio license, and certificate of registration along with the passenger details, certificate of airworthiness and a cargo manifest.

Article 37 of this convention contains the adoption of the internationally approved Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) by all the States as well as other published procedures. Any variance from these standards or procedures has to be advised to the Council of ICAO in 60 days as per Article 38 (Directorate General of Civil Aviation, 2016).

Sarps 

The Annexes of Chicago Convention are the compilation of SARPs. Standards are the specification for any configuration, physical characteristics, performance, material, procedure or personnel. The standardized appliance of such specifications needs to be acknowledged as essential for the regularity and security of the international air navigation. Also, such specifications have to comply with the Contracting States to as per the Convention.

Recommended Practices are the specification for any configuration, physical characteristics, performance, material, procedure or personnel. The standardized appliance of such specifications needs to be acknowledged in the interest of regularity as desirable and security of the international air navigation. Also, such specifications have to comply with the Contracting States to as per the Convention.

Emergency Situation 

Annexure 12 of Chicago Convention contains the necessities for establishing, maintaining and operating the search and rescue (SAR) services by Contracting States. This includes organizing the cooperative principles for an efficient performance of the operations of SAR. This Annexure contains that adequate equipment (as per the number of passengers) should be available to provide necessary assistance in case of an accident. Further, the services of SAR have to be discharged as per the relevant Flight Information Region which includes the high seas, as established in the regional air navigation plans.

As per the section 6(5) of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act, 1990 the provisions for search and rescue services should be in such a manner which is consistent with the obligations of Australia under the Chicago Convention; the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue 1979 done at Hamburg on 27 April 1979; and the Safety Convention. The Act, through section 7 states that the Authority has to execute the responsibilities in such a manner which is consistent with the conditions as per any agreement between Australia and some other country (Australian Government, 2011).

Investigation in Case of an Accident or Incident 

Annexure 13 contains the provisions regarding an aircraft accident and incident investigation (Brisibe, 2005). The purpose of such investigation is future prevention. As per this Annexure, the cause of any aircraft accident or severe incident has to be identified so as to thwart any repetition of such episodes. And this identification can be done by conducting a thorough investigation.

This Annex is often used as a reference by such people who are called upon, without any proper time, for the arrangement of the various facets concerned with the investigation of such accident or incident.

International Air Transport Association 

IATA (International Air Transport Association) is a trade association for the airlines of the world (Chuang, 1972). IATA has it’s headquarter in Montreal, Canada and consists of about 260 airlines which are the major carriers and represents 117 countries. IATA helps in the formulation of industry policies and standards and supports the airline activities. The Executive Offices of IATA is situated in Geneva, Switzerland and has regional offices in Miami, Singapore, Madrid, Beijing and Amman. The member airlines of IATA cover 83% (approximately) of the total available seat kilometers air traffic.

IATA has certain priorities and these include safety, security, and simplification of business along with the environment, services, strategic partners and standards. The objectives of IATA include the necessity to encourage secure, standard and cost-effective air transport; the collaboration and cooperation with ICAO and other international organizations, and maintenance of a dialogue with various Governments to enhance the fiscal progression of the industry. The IATA’s mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry.

Safety Oversight 

The contracting States of the Chicago Convention are provided status and protection for being the signatory countries. Safety oversight makes certain that the national aviation industry is provided a level of safety which equal to, or better than what has been defined in the SARPs. Each State is responsible for safety oversight and lays the foundation for safety of a global aircraft operation (Dempsey & Jakhu, 2016). If there is a lack in the necessary safety oversight by one contracting State then this would threaten the overall operations of international civil aircraft. The relevant articles of Chicago Convention in Industry Safety Oversight include articles 11, 12, 17, 18, 31, 37 and 38.

The contracting States meet the safety oversight responsibilities by following the ICAO Doc 9734 Part A: Safety Oversight Manual (Huang, 2009). This document contains a variety of State responsibilities including the operational safety oversight and safety reporting. It also highlights the requirement of States to provide the adequate resources (financial and human) so as to efficiently carry out the obligations of safety oversight on behalf of State. Safety Oversight Manual describes the critical elements which include specific operating regulations, surveillance obligations and primary aviation legislation, among other things. 

Common Support Framework 

Supra-national regulators are the regulatory bodies which transcend national boundaries and interests (Wittmer, Beiger & Müller, 2011). As per ICAO, the State of Design and Manufacture is responsible for majority of commercial aircrafts. State of Design and Manufacture issues a “Type Certificate” and this describes the aircraft type’s design and certifies such design when it meets the applicable requirements of airworthiness by the State. It also formulates a system for operators so as to report any defects, faults, and malfunctions. This certification ensures that the highest standards of safety have been met from the initial stages of design to the end stage of retirement.

The national civil aviation in the US is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is an agency of Department of Transportation. It is the authority which regulates and oversees the various aspects of civil aviation in the US. Federal Aviation Regulation 25 contains the certification standards for hefty commercial aircrafts.

EASS or European Aviation Safety Agency is the aviation agency for European Union (EU). EASA is responsible for development of common environmental and aviation safety rules at the EU level.

FAA, EASS along with the various Regional Safety Oversight Organizations have an impact on any commercial aviation flights from Australia to the other parts of the world.

Conclusion 

Increased globalization has given rise to a necessity in form of aviation standards and conventions. These conventions and standards aim at protecting and safeguarding the air transport system. It also provides uniformity amongst the legislatures of contracting States so as to fulfill the obligations under the convention. In the above analysis, an understanding has been drawn regarding the Chicago convention, IATO, ICAO and the safety oversight. These provide the necessary base to guarantee the safety as well as security of international aviation industry.

References 

Abeyratne, R. (2014). Convention on International Civil Aviation: A Commentary. Singapore: Springer International Publishing.

Australian Government. (2011). Australia’s State Aviation Safety Program. Retrieved on 13/09/2016 from: https://infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/safety/ssp/files/asasp.pdf

Brisibe, T. (2005). Aeronautical Public Correspondence by Satellite. The Netherlands: Eleven International Publishing.

Chuang, R.Y. (1972). The International Air Transport Association: A Case Study of a Quasi-governmental Organization. Leiden: A.W. Sijthoff.

Dempsey, P.S. (2008). The Chicago Convention as a Source of International Air Law. Retrieved on 13/09/2016 from: http://www.mcgill.ca/iasl/files/iasl/ASPL633-Chicago-Convention.pdf

Dempsey, P.S., & Jakhu, R.S. (2016). Routledge Handbook of Public Aviation Law. Oxon: Routledge.

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. (2016). Aviation. Retrieved on 13/09/2016 from: https://infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/

Directorate General of Civil Aviation. (2016). Convention on International Civil Aviation Signed At Chicago on 7th December, 1944 (The Chicago Convention, 1944). Retrieved on 13/09/2016 from: http://dgca.nic.in/int_conv/Chap_I.pdf

Huang, J. (2009). Aviation Safety through the Rule of Law: ICAO's Mechanisms and Practices. The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International.

ICAO. (2016). Convention on International Civil Aviation - Doc 7300. Retrieved on 13/09/2016 from: http://www.icao.int/publications/pages/doc7300.aspx

ICAO. (2013). Convention on International Civil Aviation Signed at Chicago on 7 December 1944. Retrieved on 13/09/2016 from: http://www.icao.int/secretariat/legal/List%20of%20Parties/Chicago_EN.pdf

Milde, M. (2008). International Air Law and ICAO. The Netherlands: Eleven International Publishing.

Nordquist, M.H. (1993). United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982: A Commentary, Volume 2. The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Poúlantzas, M.N. (2002). The Right of Hot Pursuit in International Law. The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International.

Soekkha, H.M. (1997). Aviation Safety: Human Factors, System Engineering, Flight Operations, Economics, Strategies, Management. The Netherlands: VSP BV

Wittmer, A., Beiger, T., & Müller, R. (2011). Aviation Systems: Management of the Integrated Aviation Value Chain. Berlin: Springer International Publishing.

 

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